NoSQL joins SQL in FoundationDB purchase of Akiban

FoundationDB plans to offer a hybrid data store that can host both NoSQL and SQL structured data

Database software vendor FoundationDB has acquired Akiban, another purveyor of database software, in a move to develop a hybrid data-store application capable of storing both SQL and non-SQL data.

"Being all things to all people is a tough place to be, but I think there is a way to thread that needle and offer a real interesting service," said David Rosenthal, a co-founder of FoundationDB. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Vienna, Virginia-based FoundationDB developed a data storage engine that can store information in both non-SQL and SQL data structures.

FoundationDB offers all the capabilities of a standard relational database management system (RDMS) -- including fault tolerance and full ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) compliance -- while still offering the easy multi-server scalability of a NoSQL data store.

The software still needed a front end that could provide a SQL interface to applications that require a database, according to Rosenthal.

Boston-based Akiban offered a connector that provided a standard SQL interface, which the company used with its own NoSQL data store software. In early 2012, Akiban released its own NoSQL package for purchase, then switched to offering it as a hosted service, on a trial basis.

FoundationDB plans to link the Akiban connector with its own data storage engine, thereby creating a single software package that can store both in NoSQL and SQL structures. With this software, enterprises could potentially consolidate their databases onto a single platform.

"There ends up being a proliferation of databases within an architecture. One company may have five or six databases," Rosenthal said. An organization may already have a number of standard SQL databases serving its applications, but also may be adopting NoSQL data stores for additional duties not typically well served by SQL databases.

FoundationDB plans to release a commercial product that combines the two technologies by August. The Akiban Boston office will remain open, according to Rosenthal.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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